Did you know that a whopping 95% of employees don’t understand the strategy of the business they work for? That’s an astounding statistic reported by Funding for Good. Having a crystal-clear business development strategy can help you avoid confusion among those in your organization.

And there are plenty of other reasons why a business development strategy is a good idea, especially the fact that businesses that have one see 30% greater growth and are more likely to raise capital funding than those that don’t have a plan.

Those reasons alone are enough to drive you to build a business development strategy today.

What is a Business Development Strategy?

A business development strategy is a way to ensure that your company meets the goals set for growth. To put it simply, it’s a roadmap that provides step-by-step directions to your destination. 

Just as if you were following driving directions, that roadmap to success provides you with landmarks to touch on and new paths to take – these generate the high-value leads you need to reach those business goals.

Why is a Business Development Strategy Important?

Business development strategies vary widely among companies, industries, and organizations. Even if two companies are doing the same thing, they have different ways of getting there. A business strategy makes sure everyone in the business is on the same page and ready to do the work to make their goals a reality.

As business development expert Scott Pollack told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Business development is the creation of long-term value for

an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.” But why should you have one?

Key PointDescriptionBenefits
Defines Your BusinessClarifies what your business brings to the table.Provides a clear identity and focus for the business.
Develops ValuesEstablishes what your company stands for and its desired legacy.Creates a strong foundation for decision-making and company culture.
Creates PurposeSets an end goal and outlines the roadmap to achieve it.Gives direction and motivation, guiding strategic planning and daily operations.
Eliminates ConfusionAligns everyone on the same page, ensuring cohesive effort.Ensures a forward trajectory and prevents misallocation of resources and effort.
Gives a Competitive EdgeStrengthens team unity and focus on capturing customer leads and results.Enhances competitiveness by improving efficiency and effectiveness in achieving goals.

7 Steps to Create an Effective Business Development Strategy

Team discussing.

Creating a strong business development strategy takes time and patience, but once you begin to see results, you’ll know it is all worth getting your ideas lined up. Here’s how to get it going.

1. Identify your audience

Who is coming back to your site again and again? Who is reaching out to learn more about your products? Who are they, and what do they need from you? How are they solving that problem right now? Where are the holes you can fill?

Look at your market demographic – it might not be what you think.

It’s also important to make sure that you have a high-quality audience. You want an audience that will stick with you as you grow. That means looking to those who have the money and the desire to stay with you as your products or services flourish to provide even more value.

2. Analyze your competition

What is your competition doing? How are they landing customers? What are they offering that you aren’t – and if you are offering something even better, what are they doing differently that brings the customers to their door? Figuring out what they are doing differently can help you analyze what is working for them not working for you, and brainstorm ideas to change all of that.

When you analyze the competition, you create an advantage for yourself. You come to understand the competitors and customers in the space, which then allows you to make adjustments.

CompetitorStrengths Weaknesses Market ShareStrategies
Competitor AStrong brand recognition, extensive networkHigh prices, limited customization25%Premium pricing, extensive advertising
Competitor BAffordable pricing, flexible solutions Smaller market presence, limited support 15%Cost leadership, promotional discounts
Competitor CInnovative products, strong R&D High development costs, longer lead times20%Innovation focus, niche marketing
Competitor DExcellent customer service, loyalty programsHigher operational costs10%Customer-centric approach, loyalty rewards
Competitor EComprehensive service offeringsComplex processes, less agility30%Diversified services, market penetration

3. Make use of lead generation

Now is the time to take those leads and run with them. Lead generation comes from organic searches for your product or service, your promotions on LinkedIn and other business-related platforms, email outreach through QuickMail, and more.

Lead generation tools that use a boost in SEO to push you higher in the search results are especially helpful in getting you to where you need to be. Then QuickMail helps you foster those relationships by reaching out at just the right time to get their attention. 

This use of cold email campaigns works when the customer is primed to receive that email – and if they are perusing your content, they are likely ready to hear from you.

4. Nurture relationships with your customers

While you use lead generation to attract new customers, remember the ones you already have. Here are some ways to nurture that relationship and keep their loyalty. 

  • Networking with your current customers is a good way to stay current, relevant, and attentive to their needs. While face-to-face networking is great, it’s often time-consuming and can be expensive. QuickMail allows you to reach out in a variety of ways that keep you connected for an affordable price.

  • Follow up on referrals immediately. When a customer tells you about someone who needs your services, you can bet that it stemmed from a recent conversation. This allows you to generate new leads from a potential customer while finding some way to reward the current customer who brought the new business to you.

  • Simply ask them what they want. You might be surprised at the solutions your customers can come up with – they just don’t have the means to implement them. But perhaps you do. It’s as easy as a survey asking them what you are doing right and what you could do better.

5. Look for customers in new places

Are you an old pro on LinkedIn but find that you can’t really tap into the plethora of business opportunities on Instagram or YouTube? Look to your demographic and see where they go. Surveys on your target audience can help you find the places where you need to build up your presence. Where is the best engagement opportunity? 

That’s where the future of your business lies.

Content marketing is a strong component of this. According to the Content Marketing Institute, solid content marketing that showcases your expertise generates three times as many leads as typical marketing plans do and costs at least 62% less. That’s because solid content allows your brand target audience to discover your brand organically. 

So, in addition to taking advantage of SEO to rise to the top of searches, you’re also getting more hits on your content, which leads to even better search results.

6. Measure your success

As you go through this process, measuring your success every step of the way is key. You absolutely must know where the new customers are coming from, how long they are waiting to push that button to purchase, what is holding them back, and what you can give them as you follow up after an engagement or sale.

The strong analytics provided by QuickMail can help you see at a glance where your SEO is working and how your email campaigns are going and allow you to tweak them one at a time. This can give you more control to try out new things and experiment to find out what works and what doesn’t. Measure the success of each campaign along the way to help ensure your reach goes up.

7. Tweak, tweak, tweak

The data you receive from lead generation, SEO tools, and QuickMail are goldmines of information that can lead you to your next customer.

By following the guidelines listed here and making even the smallest changes to your email campaigns, text campaigns, content, and website approach, you can ensure that you reach more customers. It’s a never-ending strategy that will pay off handsomely if you stick with it.

Best Business Development Strategies to Use Today
Quickmail dashboard for New Opportunities.

Numerous strategies can turn profits for you right now. Once you have the development plan in place, start reaching out with these business development tools to grow your business:

  1. LinkedIn: If you aren’t using this yet, why not? It’s an easy way to reach out to business consumers and get on their radar, especially if you provide a regularly updated content stream.

  2. Email: Though some decry emails as not working well to capture leads, they obviously haven’t given QuickMail a try. QuickMail makes it easy to build campaigns, use SEO to your advantage, and tweak the emails over time to get more clicks. And QuickMail is quite affordable, which helps you stick to a marketing budget.

  3. Other social media: LinkedIn is very strong for business use, but it isn’t the only game in town. Go where the customers are—that might be YouTube, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and emerging social media platforms that connect B2B professionals. You will likely find success, as 78% of those who use social media tend to outsell the competition.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you create a BD strategy?

Creating the strategy requires sitting down with your core leadership team and going through the steps to create a solid plan. That means going through the steps listed here, one at a time, and being as thorough as possible. 

Write down everything and make sure everyone is on the same page on one step before moving to another. At each juncture, create actionable plans that you can implement as soon as the strategy is in place.

What are the key components of a business development strategy?

Most experts say there are three broad, key components to business development strategy:

  1. Have your finger on the pulse of the market. Know what you are delivering and why it’s so necessary for the customer.

  2. Speaking of the customers, who are they? Dive deep into your customer base to figure out who they are, what pain points bother them, and how you can fix the issues.

  3. Look at the relationships you already have with them. What can you do to improve those relationships or take them in a new, more fruitful direction?

What are some of the best tips for business development strategy?

Coming together with your management and leadership teams to discuss business strategy can be exciting, but you might get lost in the weeds. In order to find your best direction, you might need a little push to get started. Here are a few tips:

  1. An elevator pitch forces you to boil down what your business does into a concise, straightforward summary. Create a pitch that you will share with those in your office. Make it 30 seconds or less, with clear and specific language that ends with a call to action. Ask everyone to create their pitch and pull the best parts from each.

  2. Make sure your goals are SMART. That means they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Here’s an example: “We will boost our outreach by at least 10% by using QuickMail’s cold email for the next three months and applying the analytics each month to tweak measurable results.”

  3. What’s your SWOT? That means you are looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Look at a very specific aspect of your business and apply those four questions to it. What pain points do you resolve for the customer? Where are you falling short? What can you do to improve? And what is keeping you from achieving that goal?

  4. Now, it’s time to assess all of these tips. How well are they working for you? You can track that through your KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. You choose what those indicators are. It might include measurable improvement in lead generation, connections with prospective customers, sales completed with new customers, improved sales with existing customers, and higher revenue and profits.

Is business development the same as sales?

While it might seem that business development is the same as sales, there is a key difference:

  • Sales is about closing deals and earning business. It is about increasing revenue and profits. It follows a product or service from inception to delivery and fulfills a need that keeps customers coming back.

  • Business development is about nurturing relationships and seeking new ones. It’s about finding customers, partnerships, and growth opportunities and then implementing those new insights to improve sales.

Ready to Skyrocket Your Lead Generation?

Lead generation is a key component of a business development strategy. Without it, you’re fumbling in the dark, looking for customers but with no clear vision to find them. 

QuickMail is a great way to contact those who need a little push toward what you can offer. Its cold emails allow you to reach out to customers who might not take the initiative to do so on their own.

And with the right campaigns, you can get their attention – and their business – in a way that doesn’t take a massive chunk of your profits.